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milk prices (and air travel)

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milk prices (and air travel)

Postby narcoleptish » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:14 am

Article about possible rise in milk prices.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/ ... f887a.html

National agriculture policy forces the implementation of a 1949 system for pricing milk if the country does not have an active farm bill. That antiquated policy uses a complex formula — based on costs of producing milk by hand and including inflation and other adjustments — that will force the U.S. Department of Agriculture to buy milk at nearly double the recent market price.


"Based on costs of producing milk by hand..."? Good to see our policies have been kept so up-to-date.

While I understand that an increase like this can have a real affect on some families, I would like to know how many of the people who will bitch the loudest about this wouldn't even blink an eye at paying $8 or more for 72 oz. of beer?

Any idea if the cost of organic would go up as well?
Last edited by narcoleptish on Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: milk prices

Postby gargantua » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:39 pm

I've paid $10.99 for a 22 oz bomber bottle of beer and I wouldn't bitch at all. However, that's because I prefer beer to milk. I do loves my cheese though.

In a broader context, this seems like another sign of just how dysfunctional, in fact virtually useless, Congress has become. I'm afraid it will take a very large negative event to get these people to start to focus on what's best for the country.
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Re: milk prices

Postby Igor » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:03 pm

At one point the guaranteed price increased with the distance from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Senators from New York, New England, California, etc. blocked any move to change it, since it favored them over Midwest producers.

I don't know whether that policy is still in place or not.
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Re: milk prices

Postby johnfajardohenry » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:44 pm

Why should govt at any level set milk (or any other) price?

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Re: milk prices

Postby green union terrace chair » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:09 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:Why should govt at any level set milk (or any other) price?

John Henry

It shouldn't but it does on all sorts of products throughout our economy, either by subsidy, decree or tax. And it's fine for me to say "it shouldn't" but where does the repeal begin without causing a lot of upset to the market?

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Re: milk prices

Postby johnfajardohenry » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:21 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:It shouldn't but it does on all sorts of products throughout our economy, either by subsidy, decree or tax. And it's fine for me to say "it shouldn't" but where does the repeal begin without causing a lot of upset to the market?


I would agree that repeal of any price fixing regulations, or any other marketing regulations, while we are at it, would be disruptive.

Some farmers would lose, others would gain. Some consumers might lose most others would likely gain.

I don't think the disruptive nature of removing regulations is any argument for not doing it. It might be an argument for how it is best accomplished. Much as I would like to see all these regulations abolished, I realize that this probably needs to be phased in in most cases.

It still needs to be done.

And a bit of a caveat: There are certain government sponsored, owned and/or controlled monopolies. Think of the power companies, for example. While I do think they should be subject to the free market, until they are, until any company can enter or leave that marketplace freely, they will need to be regulated.

For two industries that everyone for decades said needed to be "natural monopolies" and thus controlled by government look at airlines and telephony. Yes, deregulation was disruptive but look at how much better off we are today.

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Re: milk prices

Postby johnfajardohenry » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:23 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:
Some farmers would lose, others would gain.


I should probably add dairies and others in the chain between farmer and consumer. Some would lose, some would gain.

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Re: milk prices

Postby narcoleptish » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:52 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:For two industries that everyone for decades said needed to be "natural monopolies" and thus controlled by government look at airlines and telephony. Yes, deregulation was disruptive but look at how much better off we are today.


Are we? I really don't know because I never took a flight until 1988. I do know that any domestic coach flight I've taken since then has pretty much sucked and only gotten worse with time. Squeezed in like sardines, shitty or non-existent food, luggage limitations, every flight over-booked... All in the name of free-market competition. I'm all for the free market, but if air travel today is "better" I can't imagine how bad it could have been before.
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Re: milk prices

Postby green union terrace chair » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:50 pm

Agreed that there are natural monopolies that must exist and things that must be subsidized by government to exist. The latter is one of the big asterisks to my moderate libertarian leanings.

And when I say farm subsidies "SHOULD" end, it's for the consumer's sake. The downside you need to give justification to (to farmers and consumers) is that the likely outcome is that some products will end up being imported because they can no longer be produced profitably domestically (when the profit was due to subsidies).

As for the airlines, they might have been deregulated but air travel is still a heavily subsidized industry, from airports built with taxpayer dollars to routes to mountain and Great Plains states that would not exist without subsidy.

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Re: milk prices

Postby johnfajardohenry » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:07 pm

narcoleptish wrote:Are we? I really don't know because I never took a flight until 1988. I do know that any domestic coach flight I've taken since then has pretty much sucked and only gotten worse with time.


I wasn't any better back in the 60's and 70's. Just more expensive with fewer options.

I fly a lot, at least 25m miles just on American Airlines for the past 10 years. Mostly in coach. A bit less before that but always 3-5 round trips per year going back to the 70's.

I must live a charmed life because I have generally not found it anywhere near as bad as most people seem to think. Or perhaps it is because I pretty much only fly American and occasionally JetBlue.

As for airline food, I can pretty much do without it. When they had it, it was generally pretty awful, esp in coach. If the airlines can save $20-30 off the price of my ticket by not having any, I am happy to eat before or after I fly.

Ditto baggage, I can go away for a couple weeks with what I can carry on (Stay at a Hampton or Candlewood. Many have free laundries). I am happy not to have the cost of baggage included in my ticket.

It is way better than travel by train or by intercity bus. I've done both (The Dog LA to DC twice. The train Chicago to DC a couple times. Lots of shorter trips on both. All back in the 60's)

Cost and availability of air travel is way below, adjusted for inflation, the cost in 1970.

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Re: milk prices

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:14 pm

narcoleptish wrote:
johnfajardohenry wrote:For two industries that everyone for decades said needed to be "natural monopolies" and thus controlled by government look at airlines and telephony. Yes, deregulation was disruptive but look at how much better off we are today.


Are we? I really don't know because I never took a flight until 1988. I do know that any domestic coach flight I've taken since then has pretty much sucked and only gotten worse with time. Squeezed in like sardines, shitty or non-existent food, luggage limitations, every flight over-booked... All in the name of free-market competition. I'm all for the free market, but if air travel today is "better" I can't imagine how bad it could have been before.


Ditto. I don't know what the hell is so much better today. Jon Henri, have you even flown in Europe. The airports are a mess I will agree, but I can't even compare it to flying domestically. The flights that were the best were actually inter-Europe. Short flights with a meal that I would actually buy at a restaurant.

But hey, keep somehow being an expert on everything.
Last edited by Stebben84 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: milk prices

Postby johnfajardohenry » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:44 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:Agreed that there are natural monopolies that must exist and things that must be subsidized by government to exist.


I tend not to believe in the concept of natural monopolies. Perhaps there are a few but I still need some convincing.

Ditto subsidies. If a thing can't exist on its own, it probably should not exist at all.

As for the airlines, they might have been deregulated but air travel is still a heavily subsidized industry, from airports built with taxpayer dollars to routes to mountain and Great Plains states that would not exist without subsidy.


I agree with that. There is no reason at all for airports to be financed with taxpayer money.

There may be some justification for subsidizing airlines on the grounds of defense. The US has a claim on all those planes in the event of a national emergency. Ditto shipyards like Newport News and Electric Boat as we have closed all the Navy's shipyards.

"May be", not necessarily is.

I think airlines, as well as any other business must be allowed to go bankrupt when they can't compete.

Airport subsidies (and sports stadium subsidies) are a national scandal. One reason they need subsidies is because they keep building excess capacity.

I just ran across a great article about this a couple weeks ago:

http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_4_airports.html

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Re: milk prices

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:54 am

johnfajardohenry wrote:I wasn't any better back in the 60's and 70's. Just more expensive with fewer options.


I don't know John, I've yet to experience something like this..

Image

For as often as I fly, I would happily pay hundreds more for a seat on that plane.

I also don't really care about the food and I usually get by with a carry-on, but the over-booking and cramped seats take any enjoyment out of it for me. Actually the seats wouldn't be as bad if we lived in a country of normal-sized people. If I get a "plug" between me and the aisle, getting up during the flight isn't even an option.

I think non-business flying used to be considered part of the vacation. Now it's the gauntlet you must pass through to get to your vacation.
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Re: milk prices (and air travel)

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:24 am

narcoleptish wrote:I don't know John, I've yet to experience something like this..


Hey, if JH says flying is better now, then it is. Period. Why does everyone keep questioning him?
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Re: milk prices (and air travel)

Postby Bland » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:45 am

Stebben84 wrote:Hey, if JH says flying is better now, then it is. Period. Why does everyone keep questioning him?
A better question is, why does everyone keep responding to him?
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